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Mr. Tyrie: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 18 April 2006, Official Report, column 88W, on rendition, whether a state is required to make a separate request for permission for each individual rendition flight through UK airspace or using UK airbases. 
Dr. Howells: Yes. We would expect a state to seek permission for each individual rendition flight through UK airspace and UK airbases, including Overseas Territories. We would decide whether or not to grant permission taking into account all the circumstances. We would not assist in any case if to do so would put us in breach of UK law and our international obligations.
Mr. Tyrie: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 20 March 2006, Official Report, column 86W, on
Rendition, if he will list the international obligations with which a request for permission to make a rendition flight must accord if the UK is to grant permission. 
Mr. Grogan: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 30 March 2006, Official Report, column 1184W, on rendition allegations (inquiries), whether Mohammed Rashid has been sentenced. 
Dr. Howells: Mohammed Rashid was sentenced on 24 March 2006 for his part in the bombing of a Pan Am aircraft in 1982. He will remain in prison in the United States until 20 March 2013 and pay restitution to the parents of the teenager killed in the bombing. We learned of the sentence just after publication of my written reply to my hon. Friend on 30 March 2006, Official Report, columns 1183-84 W.
Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs which (a) Ministers and (b) officials from his Department will be attending the United Nations conference to review progress made in the implementation of the Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects taking place in New York from 26 June to 7 July 2006. 
Dr. Howells: UK Ministerial participation at the Review Conference of the United Nations Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects is currently under consideration. John Duncan, our Ambassador to the UN Conference on Disarmament will lead the team of officials from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Ministry of Defence and the Department for International Development.
Mr. Keith Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations she has received regarding the safety of UK personnel operating in the West Bank and Gaza. 
I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Milton Keynes, South-West (Dr. Starkey) on 21 March 2006, Official Report, columns 339-40W. Since then, we have not received any further representations.
John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment she has made of the impact of oil exploration offshore of Western Sahara on the stability of the region. 
The Prime Minister: I have regular discussions with leaders of Arab states on a wide range issues, including Israel. My right hon. Friend the then Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (Mr. Straw) and my hon. Friend the Minister for the Middle East (Dr. Howells) have also raised these matters with leaders of Arab states. Most recently my right hon. Friend the then Foreign Secretary discussed the suicide bombing in Tel Aviv on 17 April in a meeting with the Saudi Foreign Minister, Prince Saud al Faisal, during his visit to Saudi Arabia last month.
Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the latest estimates are for the cost of setting up the (a) computer software, (b) computer
hardware, (c) staff, (d) other administrative infrastructure and (e) other elements of the new Choose and Book system for making hospital appointments. 
Caroline Flint [holding answer 25 April 2006]: The choose and book computer system was delivered on time and to budget on 2 July 2004. The costs incurred to date by the Department's NHS Connecting for Health agency for software delivery and service changes amount to £26.4 million on a total contract cost of £64.5 million over five years. The costs of hardware, and the prime contractor's staff costs in application development, are included in this amount. The staff and other administrative infrastructure costs of NHS Connecting for Health's choose and book programme team could only be separately identified within those of the agency as a whole at disproportionate cost.
The choose and book system is one of many systems that sends messages through the care record spine. However, the cost of spine services associated with choose and book messaging is not separately identified from that for other spine messages, and to do so would incur disproportionate cost.
Ms Rosie Winterton: The main element of national health service dental services are the primary dental care services provided by dentists working within the general dental service (GDS), or personal dental service (PDS) pilots. Until April 2006, when primary care trusts (PCTs) became responsible for commissioning all primary dental care services, the GDS was a non- discretionary service funded from a national budget. Expenditure was mainly determined by the volume of NHS work that dentists chose to undertake. Local budget allocations were not assigned to individual PCTs.
The level of expenditure on hospital and community dental services is decided at local level by PCTs. The tables show the most readily available core data on expenditure on GDS and PDS services for the Morecambe Bay PCT. The difference between gross and net expenditure is the contribution to costs from dental charges collected directly from patients. As the notes explain, this data does not capture certain elements of GDS and PDS expenditure, and reliable local PDS data based on practice level details is only available from the financial year 2004-05. Full data for 2005-06 is not yet available.
|Core GDS and PDS dental payments( 1, 2, 3, 4)|
1. Gross GDS payments include adult fees, including item of service and continuing care payments, child fees, including item of service and capitation payments, commitment payments and point of treatment check payment training (in 2001 only), seniority payments, maternity/paternity/adoptive leave payments, long term sick leave payments, continuing professional development allowances including travel hours, reimbursement of business rates, vocational training grants and clinical audit payments. The following costs are excluded from this data: employer's superannuation costs, vocational trainee salaries and national insurance contribution costs, clinical audit convenors, clinical audit secretarial support costs and travel expenses, and costs associated with any salaried general dental practitioners and emergency dental services.
2. PDS payment data is included for 2004-05 only and relates to baseline payments or the agreed regular monthly payments made to PDS practices. Reliable PDS data at practice level are not available prior to 2004-05. The data cannot identify the cost of any PDS services that are directly managed by local NHS trusts, such as certain dental access centres.
3. Payments are assigned to areas on the basis of practice postcode data.
4. Net payments represent the balance of payments due after taking account of NHS dental charge income collected from patients by dental practices.
Ms Rosie Winterton: Under the new dental service framework which took effect on 1 April 2006, primary care trusts (PCTs) received devolved budgets to support the commissioning of local primary dental services. These services were previously provided as general dental services (GDS), for which expenditure was demand-led, that is depending on the volume of national health service work that dentists chose to do, and personal dental services (PDS) pilots.
Allocations for 2006-07 were based on the costs of all GDS and PDS services delivered between October 2004 and September 2005 (the most recently available data for each area), adjusted where necessary to reflect the full year costs of newly opened contracts, together with provision for approved growth plans for local schemes proposed by PCTs. Appropriate upratings to fully reflect annual earnings adjustments as recommended by the doctors and dentists review body were also considered.
These allocations reflected the commitment that all dentists previously providing NHS services were entitled to maintain their previous level of earnings in return for an agreed level of NHS commitment. This was intended to provide a smooth transition to the new contract arrangements and to provide a stable base for the future development of dental services.
Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans she has to review the eye examination sight test fee payable by the NHS to registered opticians for (a) under-16s, (b) those in full time education, (c) those on income support, (d) those over 60 and (e) others. 
Steve Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what obligations her Department places on (a) acute hospital trusts, (b) GP practices, (c) primary care trusts and (d) strategic health authorities to ensure that patients are able to access transport from their home to NHS appointments; and how much was spent by the NHS on support for such transport in the last year for which figures are available. 
Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answer 4 May 2006]: The publication Ambulance and other patient transport services: Operation, use and performance standards provides guidance on the eligibility criteria for patient transport services (PTS) and is available in the Library. This document states that medical need for non-emergency patient transport must be determined by a doctor, dentist or midwife and will depend upon the medical condition of the individual patient, the availability of private or public transport and distance to be travelled. The principle which should apply is that each patient should be able to reach hospital in a reasonable time and in reasonable comfort, without detriment to their medical condition.
Primary care trusts (PCTs) are responsible for ensuring that there is provision of ambulance services, which could include patient transport services, to such extent as they consider necessary to meet all reasonable requirements. Therefore, it is for the local national health service to decide who provides patient transport services for eligible patients in their area. PCTs should apply the principles outlined in the aforementioned publication to consider each case on its merits or to develop local criteria for patient transport services use. The White Paper Our health, our care, our say: a new direction for community services signals our intent to broaden eligibility to patients referred for treatment in and out of hospital settings and during 2006-07 we will update guidance on eligibility for PTS to reflect the changes outlined in the White Paper.
PCTs are responsible for ensuring that patients who travel to receive their traditional hospital care receive reimbursement of reasonable travel expenses where the patient can prove they require financial assistance. Our health, our care, our say: a new direction for community services also signals our intent to extend
eligibility for the hospital travel costs scheme (HTCS) to include people who are referred by a health care professional for treatment in a primary care setting, providing that they meet the existing low-income criteria.
For 2004-05, NHS ambulance trust expenditure on non-emergency PTS was approximately £228 million. Itemised data on expenditure by other NHS organisations on non-emergency patient transport is not available centrally. Information on HTCS expenditure is not collected centrally.
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